Tuesday, February 28, 2006


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we got my Mom moved into her new and most likely permanent nursing home yesterday with a minimal amount of difficulty

that Mom agreed to live in a semi-private room until a private one is available; her roommate is also unable to speak so there won't be any long conversations between them

for lunch with my sister afterward. We have not sat down to lunch, just the two of us in a restaurant, maybe ever!

that I never imagined that just by being sober, I could do the things I now know I can do

to see a friend return to the rooms of recovery, especially at 6:30 in the morning

that I have always preferred to do things the smart way instead of the hard way -- with two BIG exceptions ----- Can you guess what they are?

that the real esate agent my sister and I recently contracted to sell Mom's house is both gay AND a recovering alcoholic; We're Everywhere!!

that the agent (see above) used to attend Lambda Center 20 years ago

that Steph from soberInsanity is out of rehab and blogging from Ft Lauderdale

Imagination was given to us to compensate for what we are not; a sense of humor was given to us to console us for what we are.
-Mark McGinnis

He's almost human

Monday, February 27, 2006

Speaking of Gratitude ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a busy past 3 days and getting a lot accomplished

that today is a BIG day for my Mom - she's moving to her permanent Nursing home

that I have all the paperwork completed with the t's crossed and i's dotted

that I will begin today with a 6:30am AA meeting, just like I do every M-F

for all the human forms who participated in our Lambda fundraiser; the performers, the behind-the-scenes human units and 100+ spectators

that my latest sponsee officially celebrates 1 month sobriety today, the 27th

that Justin of Austin was able to get his 5 year sober medallion although he was in great pain

for gorgeous weather Sunday, my day of rest



I just don't
get the
that I

Hell, I
don't even
like to
walk to
my car.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Random stuff

We had a fundraiser last night @ Lambda Center. It was a Mardi Gras Parade with the floats using movies titles as the theme. The floats were actually decorated grocery shopping carts and there were 6 of them which paraded around our main meeting room collecting dollar bills thrown from the seats. There were also 3 superb drag numbers. It was a hoot. I didn't get to take pictures as I was asked to perform other duties. But click here to see Scott's pix. It was a lot of effort from a lot of people. And we raised about $1200 for The Center.

My Mom is really stressing out about her move to a permanent nursing home tomorrow. Please include her in your prayers if you can.

Condolences to the family of actor Don Knotts. He was a childhood hero as I never missed an episode of The Andy Griffith Show. That program, along with others of the 60's era, always had a moral theme running throughout it. By the end of each show there was a life lesson to be learned. Why can't Hollywood do that today? What happened?

I am a lifelong baseball fan. Spring training has begun on the major league level. I anticipate an exciting season as my Houston Astros return from a World Series appearance. As with every team every season, there are question marks. But that's why God made the earth round. So we wouldn't know what's around the corner.

There is an (potentially wonderful) event this weekend in Houston called "The State of the Black Union." African American leaders getting together to discuss what's wrong with America. Louis Farrakhan is one of the leaders present. Nuff said.

Brad Pitt is putting his Hollywood mansion up for sale. You can get it for $25M.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Staying grounded so I can fly

This past week has been one of the most difficult of my sobriety. Not in the sense of staying sober; drinking has not even been a fleeting thought. I just have so many things going on in my life, it's hard to keep it all in its proper perspective at times. Of course, my sobriety comes first -- above everything else. It has to or there will be nothing else.

On top of all of my recovery-related activities which include many hours-per-week of various types of service work, my very ill, 83 year old mother continues to consume much of my time and many of my thoughts.

She suffered a major stroke last October and spent 3 weeks in ICU. Since late November, she's been in a rehab nursing center as they have tried to help her regain an ability to eat and speak. After 3 months of intensive therapy, they have done all they can do, with no progress. She will most likely never be able to eat or speak again. Her weight has gone from 105 pounds down to about 80 pounds; receiving her special diabetic nourishment through a feeding tube.

This week I had to put plans into action to move her to a more permanent home. One which provides lifetime skilled nursing care. My sister and I had decided on this home a month ago. On Monday, we move her there. Yesterday as we met with numerous doctors and administrators, she was terrified.

For the first time since her stroke, I saw her cry. I am sure she has done so previously, but not in front of any of us. I tried my best to comfort her and told her that her fear is natural but not necessary. It's a fear of the unknown. She doesn't know what will happen and neither do I. God has brought her this far - for a reason. He is not yet ready for her. At times,I feel so helpless, so powerless. I do my best; I am there for her to sit by her bedside and take care of her business, which is considerable.

I truly believe this is why my HP saw fit to make the things happen that caused me to want to finally become sober. Mom and I have both learned a lot about each other these past 4 months. We've become closer than ever during our nearly 52 years together. Today, I just want to thank my Higher Power and Alcoholics Anonymous for making me a human being who can fly when necessary.

Sometimes you have to take the leap, and build your wings on the way down.
-Kobi Yamada

I've been outed

I was just driving down the street, minding my own business.


Friday, February 24, 2006


I was always able to see the flaw in every person, every situation. And I was always glad to point it out, because I knew you wanted perfection, just as I did. A.A. and acceptance have taught me that there is a bit of good in the worst of us and a bit of bad in the best of us; that we are all children of God and we each have a right to be here. When I complain about me or about you, I am complaining about God's handiwork. I am saying that I know better than God.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, 4th Edition, page 417

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't try to be God as often as I used to

that my HP will guide me and offer me strength today as I do my very best at Doing the Next Right Thing

for getting so many little things accomplished yesterday, all day and evening until I went to bed

for a very nice meeting with a sponsee yesterday on the 7th step

for a nice lunch with Bob S. yesterday before he celebrates his 30th sober birthday

for a schedule full of recovery-related activity tomorrow, from 8am til midnight

that Justin got here safely from Austin - at 3:30 this morning - and that he celebrates his 5th sober birthday tomorrow at Lambda

that I will get a 1.5 hour long massage this afternoon - a fine stress reliever

You've got to continue to grow, or you're just like last night's cornbread--stale and dry.
-Loretta Lynn

... and God created man

Thursday, February 23, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

My mind often wanders back to Africa

Doing the Sober Thang

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all the doctors, therapists and nurses (and others) who have worked so hard for my Mom's best interests these past 4 months

that Mom has received all the formal therapy she will get

that we have a plan in place for her future, limited as it may be

for my HP who keeps me strong, for my Mom

for my newest sponsee, who is beginning to shine, despite life's difficulties

that, in leading the 6:30am meeting today, the first 4 people I called on to share had a total of 107 years of continuous sobriety

for long-timers who go to AA meetings at 6:30am -- could there be a connection there?

that, according to Tradition 8, I am not being paid to carry the message

Following the course of least resistance makes for crooked rivers and crooked men.
-Lanny Henninger

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a productive first meeting with a real estate agent at my Mom's home; we can move forward from this point - slowly and with a plan

even though I hve a plan, I have few expectations

that I've been able to dispose of almost all of my Mom's furniture to people who need it (or, in my case, want it) LOL

that I know how to shuffle papers with the best of 'em

that my recovery from alcoholism seems to follow me everywhere I go

that miralces happen as long as I don't give up

that I no longer act on all my initial impulses

that I'm not in New Orleans (Mardi Gras), Rio de Janeiro (Carnaval) or Trinidad (Carnival) this week

for the irony behind a request from New Orleans city leaders that those who move back/return to the city be prepared to roll-up thier sleeves and work and not just watch television; so many have been given so much for so long, they are too much of a drain on the fragile economy -- a lesson for the rest of America (which will go unheeded)

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
-Jose Addison

Willy's willie

For your musical entertainment, just click

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Gifts of Gratitude

"I will be more afraid of spirit-unrest, of soul-disturbance, or any ruffling of the mind, than of earthquake or fire. When I feel the calm of my spirit has been broken by emotional upset, then I must steal away alone with God, until my heart sings and all is strong and calm again. Uncalm times are the only times when evil can find an entrance. I will beware of unguarded spots of unrest. I will try to keep calm, no matter what turmoil surrounds me."
TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY, Hazelden Meditations for February 21

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom is so accepting of her illness and her surroundings

that Honesty got me sober and Tolerance keeps me sober

for the Freedom of knowing I am powerless over most things

that I can often admit when I'm wrong without suffering too much pain

for a phrase that Mr H.K. reminded me of some time ago ...
"When you need a job done, ask a busy person to do it"

that I am a busy person (LOL)

If you like a man's laugh before you know anything of him, you may say with confidence that he is a good man.
-Fyodor Dostoevsky

body art

I can't imagine the number of hours put into this body art.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Open Door

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom loves to watch figure skating; she's had plenty of time for it

that by practicing these principles in all my affairs, I have nothing to worry about (if you're not in recovery, you probably won't understand this)

for a super-busy weekend and that I've been able to take things as they come

that when one door closes, another opens and I don't have to wait long in the hallway

for a couple of AA meetings focused on relapse; reminders that this alcoholic cannot have that choice

that I have friends who have relapsed, but were able to come back for another opportunity before it was too late

that I can be there for one-on-one talks with friends who need to vent

that I don't need to hide my feelings from friends

that I have gotten back to my (ab)normal sleep pattern

that global warming doesn't live up to its hype

that a friend from Austin will be here to visit this weekend after a 4 month absence

for the new look in my townhouse with some new paint and Mom's art-deco furniture

He who is outside the door has already got a good part of his journey behind him.
-Dutch proverb

Pun Fun

These have been around a while, but they're still pretty good to read.

Sign over a Gynecologist's Office: "Dr. Jones, at your cervix."

In a Podiatrist's office: "Time wounds all heels."

On a Septic Tank Truck in Oregon: "Yesterday's Meals on Wheels"

At a Proctologist's door: "To expedite your visit please back in."

On a Plumber's truck: "Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber."

At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee: "Invite us to your next blowout."

At a Towing company: "We don't charge an arm and a leg. We want tows."

On an Electrician's truck: "Let us remove your shorts."

On a Maternity Room door: "Push. Push. Push."

At an Optometrist's Office: "If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."

On a Taxidermist's window: "We really know our stuff."

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Bryant Gumbel - the racist

Did you hear or read about the remark that sports commentator (formerly NBC Today Show co-host) Bryant Gumbel made, regarding the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy?

I quote, "Count me among those who don't care about them and won't watch them. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention," said Gumbel.

Of course he has the right to his own opinion. So do I.

This weekend my hometown Houston is hosting the NBA All-Star Game. There have been former and current pro basketball players here all week doing TV interviews and generally being seen around town. Along with them are many showbiz celebrities; actors and rappers. If you ask me, it looks more like a gansta convention than a gathering of professional athletes. I guess that's what should be expected from those who promote hatred and violence against anyone who isn't exactly like them. The NBA used to be entertaining. Now it's just a bunch of multi-millionaire whining, crybabies out to get the man. They don't seem to realize that the man is the one who pays them. I am sure Gumbel would much rather be here with his brothers rather than being paid (quite well, I'm sure) to report on a world-class, once-every-four-years event.

Ahhhhhh. I feel better. Got that off my chest.


Please allow me to expand on my thoughts. I agree with Gumbel that these are not the world's greatest athletes (in the Winter Olympics). Neither are the stars of the NBA the world's greatest athletes. For that consideration, look at the athletes that compete in decathlon and pentathlon activities. Those athletes must excel in multiple events that display their strength, speed, endurance and accuracy. They must able to run, throw, jump and aim. They must excel at swimming and cycling. Rarely will they be sighted at a GOP Convention nor an NBA 3-point shoot-out.


"For thousands of years we have been demanding more than our share of security, prestige, and romance. When we seemed to be succeeding, we drank to dream still greater dreams. When we were frustrated, even in part, we drank for oblivion. Never was there enough of what we thought we wanted.

In all these strivings, so many of them well-intentioned, our crippling handicap had been our lack of humility."

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 71

Humility is a tough proposition for this alcoholic. It's something I never knew anything about. Throughout most of my life, I considered myself a modest kind of guy. I rarely went out of my way to take credit for my actions and behaviours. When I came into the rooms of AA and heard about humility, I thought it no big deal. With a little more sober time under my belt, I continue to learn how little I know.

I love the definition that the 12 & 12 gives for humility:

"To those who have made progress in AA, it amounts to a clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be."

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 58

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Friday, February 17, 2006


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that today is my Mom's 83rd birthday; not quite the way we would have wanted to celebrate it, but at least she's still around

that I was able to exercise patience yesterday when the furniture movers I was waiting on were very late

that It Works When I Work It

for the importance of the Twelve Steps in my life today

for the Courage to Change (the things I can)

that I have so much on my plate right now, but can only eat one bite at a time

that I could find a little more work for Beth, my painter, to do

Denial is Not a River in Egypt


Do you like big cats?


Thursday, February 16, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

HNT arms and legs

click here to visit the other HNT guys for today

Love and Tolerance

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a growing ability to tell my Mom how it is -- sometimes I have to treat her the way one would a child and this is new for me (does this make sense?)

that tomorrow is Mom's 83rd birthday

to hear a raw story from a newly recovering addict

for a good lesson in tolerance from a 30-year recovering alkie

that I sometimes have more patience with life than I did 3 years ago

that we're making good progress with Lambda fundraisers (there is a lot of "behind the scenes" effort that goes unnoticed)

that today will see some major changes in the interior design of my home (a finished paint job, some new furniture)

to meet another addict in blogland, go by and pay her a visit -- girl addicted

We must have the courage to allow a little disorder in our lives.
-Ben Weininger

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Grateful for Serenity

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to be slowly clearing Mom's home of 43 years worth of accumulations - One day at a time, one square foot at a time (she is a world-champion pack-rat)

for a very good and productive meeting with our CPA - 2 whole months before April 15

for oil & gas mineral rights

for the high price of oil & gas

that when I have questions about the family business, I have the professionals at hand that are only a phone call away AND I'm no longer afraid to make that phone call

for a 6:30am AA meeting about Happiness

that I can be sad AND happy at the same time -- this is what I call SERENITY

that when I am doing the best I can at whatever I'm doing (if it's the right thing), I am doing my HP's will

Denial is Not a River in Egypt


A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

A billion days ago no one walked on the earth on two feet.

A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

sent by jessie

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Day for Love

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom accepts her limitations but continues to keep trying to get better

that in my early months in AA, I kept coming back and I didn't give up even though I had no desire to stop drinking

that although it took me 2 months into sobriety to get a sponsor, I finally did and he showed me the possibilities available to me in sobriety

that I am (so far) able to handle the responsibilities that have come my way as a result of my Mom's permanent illness

that it's Valentine's Day and I hope all of you to whom it is important can make it a special day

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
-Mother Teresa

Valentine's Day - a History Lesson

Today is Valentine's Day. Although it is celebrated as a lovers' holiday today, with the giving of candy, flowers, or other gifts between couples in love, it originated in 5th Century Rome as a tribute to St. Valentine, a Catholic bishop.

For eight hundred years prior to the establishment of Valentine's Day, the Romans had practiced a pagan celebration in mid-February commemorating young men's rite of passage to the god Lupercus. The celebration featured a lottery in which young men would draw the names of teenage girls from a box. The girl assigned to each young man in that manner would be his sexual companion during the remaining year.

In an effort to do away with the pagan festival, Pope Gelasius ordered a slight change in the lottery. Instead of the names of young women, the box would contain the names of saints. Both men and women were allowed to draw from the box, and the game was to emulate the ways of the saint they drew during the rest of the year. Needless to say, many of the young Roman men were not too pleased with the rule changes.

Instead of the pagan god Lupercus, the Church looked for a suitable patron saint of love to take his place. They found an appropriate choice in Valentine, who, in AD 270 had been beheaded by Emperor Claudius.

Claudius had determined that married men made poor soldiers. So he banned marriage from his empire. But Valentine would secretly marry young men that came to him. When Claudius found out about Valentine, he first tried to convert him to paganism. But Valentine reversed the strategy, trying instead to convert Claudius. When he failed, he was stoned and beheaded.

During the days that Valentine was imprisoned, he fell in love with the blind daughter of his jailer. His love for her, and his great faith, managed to miraculously heal her from her blindness before his death. Before he was taken to his death, he signed a farewell message to her, "From your Valentine." The phrase has been used on his day ever since.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Charles & Camilla

As Camilla was making last-minute preparations to walk down the aisle, she found that her shoes were missing. She was forced to borrow her sister's, which were a bit on the small side.

When the day's festivities were finally over, Charles and Camilla retired to their room, right next door to the Queen and Prince Phillip's. As soon as Charles and Camilla were inside their room, Camilla flopped on the bed and said, "Darling, please get these shoes off. My feet are killing me."

The ever-obedient Prince of Wales attacked the right shoe with vigour, but it was stuck fast.

"Harder," Camilla yelled. "Harder!"

"I'm trying darling," the Prince yelled back. "It's just so bloody tight."

"Come on ! Give it all you've got."

There was a big groan from the Prince, and then Camilla exclaimed, "There ! That's it ! Oh that feels good ! Oh that feels SOOOO good."

In the bedroom next door, the Queen turned to Prince Phillip and said, "See ? I told you, with a face like that she was still a virgin."

Back in the bridal suite, Charles was trying to pry off the left shoe.

"Oh, my God, darling ! This one's even tighter," exclaimed the heir to the throne.

At which Prince Phillip turned to the Queen and said.

"That's my boy. Once a Navy man, always a Navy Man."

Living the Steps of AA

I could not stop drinking by myself. I know that to be true because I tried. I tried many ways with a lot of motivation behind me. Couldn't stop. Stopping never lasted more than a day.

After 100+ meetings at Alcoholics Anonymous I heard the things I needed to hear. I read the things I need to read. And I was able to form a concept of a Higher Power. Then, and only then, was I able to muster the Courage to ask that Higher Power for help.

That is when I stopped drinking.

Today, 2 1/2 years later, I try my best to live by the 12 steps of AA. I use those steps NOT to treat my alcoholism. I use the steps of AA to treat my sobriety. I knew how to live drunk. I don't know how to live sober.

todAAy, i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I remained sober throughout the weekend without once having a thought about drinking alcohol

that my mother turns 83 later this week

that she has accepted her health problems with grace and dignity

for slow progress made with the disposition of my Mom's home; this is very definitely a one day at a time project

for friends who are there to help me if only I ask

for the Hurricane Katrina evacuees who have made new lives for themselves in quietly finding employment and housing without waiting for the government to give it all to them

that I actually accepted an invitation to go to a private party over the weekend, I rarely do these things and I had a very nice time

for 7 other volunteers who helped do some much-needed cleaning at Lambda, our recovery center

for logistical and organizational progress made for our upcoming fundraiser

that my Higher Power makes my new life possible for me through my sobriety

Some people develop a wishbone where their backbone should be.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Tagged by a bunch of drunks

Most of my HNT friends have already done this, so here goes ...

Four jobs I’ve had in my life
dishwasher in a cafeteria
middle school teacher / coach
office manager
technician on offshore seismic vessel

Four movies I can watch over and over
Blues Brothers
Lillies of the Field
Star Trek - The Motion Picture
Field of Dreams

Four places I have lived
St John's, Newfoundland
Dakar, Senegal
London, England
Capetown, S. Africa

Four TV shows I love to watch
Dick van Dyke Show
Everybody Loves Raymond
60 Minutes

Four places I have been on vacation
Walvis Bay, Namibia
Dublin, Ireland
Copenhagen, Denmark
Munich, Germany

Four websites I visit daily
hot or not.com
attitude of gratitude.com

Four of my favorite foods
big, juicy hamburger
chicken fried steak
red beans and rice
chicken caesar salad

Four places I would rather be right now
nowhere else right now;
i'm right where i want to be

People I am tagging:
The hAAlf nAAked ThursdAAy bunch.
That means essentially all of you.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Health Insurance explanations

I mentioned yesterday that I need to invest in private health/medical insurance. I currently have no coverage. All these options and requirements for medical and health insurance. It's almost too much to comprehend. Here's a handy guide with some easy-to-understand explanations.

Q. What does HMO stand for?
A. This is actually a variation of the phrase, "HEY MOE." Its roots go back to a concept pioneered by Moe of the Three Stooges, who discovered that a patient could be made to forget about the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough in the eyes.

Q. I just signed up for Medical Insurance. How difficult will it be to choose the doctor I want?
A. Just slightly more difficult than choosing your parents. Your
insurer will provide you with a book listing all the doctors in the plan. These doctors basically fall into two categories: those who are no longer accepting new patients and those who will see you but are no longer participating in the plan. But don't worry; the remaining doctor who is still in the plan and accepting new patients has an office just a half-day's drive away, and a diploma from a Third World country.

Q. Do all diagnostic procedures require pre-certification?
A. No. Only those you need.

Q. Can I get coverage for my pre-existing conditions?
A. Certainly, as long as they don't require any treatment.

Q. What happens if I want to try alternative forms of medicine?
A. You'll need to find alternative forms of payment.

Q. My pharmacy plan only covers generic drugs, but I need the name brand. I tried the Generic Medication, but it gave me a stomach ache. What should I do?
A. Poke yourself in the eye.

Q. What if I'm away from home and I get sick?
A. You really shouldn't do that.

OK. Now I think I'm beginning to better understand what I'm up against.

Brokeback to the future

All you gotta do is CLICK HERE

Friday, February 10, 2006

Dankbarkeit (eine liste)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a laid back Thursday morning and fruitful Step 6 meeting with a sponsee

for the concept of AA sponsorship -- I KNOW I get more out of our meetings than he does

for an AA meeting centered around laughter

that when I pray at night just before cruising off to sleep, I sometimes laugh out loud (LOL) with my HP (Higher Power)

for a good old-fashioned Gratitude meeting at 6:30am today

that I no longer help Papa Del open the doors to The 611 Bar each morning @ 7am

that today, I cannot be perfect, but I can try to be excellent

"Denial is Not a River in Egypt"

Hot dog

If you're a man, this is why you should never allow your partner to cook dinner for you when he/she is mad at you.

If you're a woman, payback's a bitch.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy


age 16 @ 1970
age 33 @ 1987

see all the other nuts who are posting pix today

Moving Forward

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAankful

that Mom is so accepting of her situation AND is able to just let go of her home of the past 43 years

to have her seemingly complete trust in handling all her affairs

that my sister and I were able to salvage most of Mom's most valued belongings before they were stolen

to hear the short story in an AA meeting of a young man, new in sobriety, and how staying clean and sober has already changed his life as an airline pilot

for dinner with my sponsor - a very very rare occurence

that I can get so much accomplished every day, especially after 9am, which used to be my cut-off time so I could begin the drinking day

for all the hAAlf-nAAked thursdAAy bloggers posting pictues todAAy

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
-Mohandas Gandhi

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Freedom to be Grateful

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for some wise (through no fault of my own) financial investments that continue to grow

that I possess good health, especially since I currently have no health insurance

one of my goals this year is to invest in a health insurance program

that actually, I began that investment 2 years and 5 months ago when I stopped drinking

for a GREAT! 6:30am meeting today in which I was reminded that if I am practicing these principles in all my affairs, I will not want to drink. This, of course, refers to the Twelve Steps of AA.

for my fireplace, although living in Houston, I rarely get to use it

that a member of Lambda Center will be painting my 2-story staircase wall soon for a very reasonable fee

A.A. members told me that I would not only find a way to live without having a drink, but that I would find a way to live without wanting to drink.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, 4th edition, , page 549


JJ of A Reason A Season A Lifetime sent me a little blogger gift package a few weeks ago. She's too sweet. But that's another story, for another day.

Today's story concerns one of the items in said package. It is a tiny book (~ 2" x 2"), entitled "The Little Book of Voodoo." Chapter 14 is titled, "Voodoo Abuse." Part of it reads as follows ...

As you already know if you've dabbled in the art, voodoo is a very powerful thing. And like most powers, it can be abused. That's where Voodoo Anonymous comes in.

Voodoo Anonymous (or VDA, as it's now known after a protracted copyright battle with the Veteran's Administration) was founded by someone who chooses to remain anonymous.

Its motto -- "Grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change and to change what I cannot accept" -- is sewn on samplers in voodoo-practicing homes around the world. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how Voodoo Anonymous saved me. Yes, I'll confess. I was a voodoo abuser.

Funny little book. Published by The Running Press.
Thanks JJ.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Can I use these?

dick British dickdick egypt dick

Can these be used on Thursday?

Knowledge can be helpful

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I could get Mom out of the nursing home yesterday for a couple of hours

for making a HUGE decision - I am ready to attack all of the necessary procedures to sell her home

that I feel strong enough spiritually to take on another project, 3 days after writing that my plate is full

that I am sober enough to know When to Do the Next Right Thing; this comes under the definition of "we will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us"

for an interesting and informative chat with JP about AA crosstalk in meetings

for getting many things accomplished yesterday afternoon; a time when I normally nap and then begin to just wind-down for the day

that I am not the only human who is faced with living life as it happens, sober

that I have this forum in which to begin to formulate my ideas, and then get feedback

for the concept that I can use what I like and disregard what I can't use

for all you guys who read and sometimes respond

for Al Gore -- who made ALL this possible!!

No man was ever wise by chance.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Where it stops, nobody knows

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that after I post this and go to my morning meeting, I'm taking Mom to her home so she can find me some information I could not locate; I know that after about 3 hours away from her bed, she'll be exhausted

for some really nice AA meetings over the weekend

for a good first-meeting with my new sponsee

that Willingness can take me to good places I've never been before

to realize first-hand, for the first time, that a little bit of my fear of talking to strangers has gone away

that I finally posted one of my favorite writings, THERE COMES A TIME, onto my alternate blog

for a lot of help from this guy, who well-hung my new drapes yesterday

that I even watched bits and pieces of the Super Bowl (but didn't really care)

Two things a man should never be angry at: what he can help, and what he cannot help.
-Thomas Fuller

Year of the Dog

According to the Chinese calendar, this is the Year of the Dog.

CLICK HERE to see a gallery of the top 100 dogs.
This might bring back a few memories.
And it might not.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

There comes a time ...

One of the most important pieces of writing I have ever had the pleasure of reading is entitled There Comes a Time.

This is the spiritual awakening of an AA'er from about 40 years ago. Her new outlook on life is truly an inspiration to me. It helped me to take a good hard look at myself at a time when I was ready to give up. Her experience, strength and hope were first sent to me by my own personal Angel, Hayden, when I was living in Morocco and we were separated. He knew what I needed to know.

I hope you can take 5 minutes to read this. Feel free to copy and paste or print it out for your own future reference. I have also included a new link to it on my sidebar.

There comes a time ...

Behind the Scenes

an appealing shot to some, i suppose.

these derrieres at lambda are telling secrets.

2 of them are bloggers.

anyone care to guess who they are?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Red Button

Because I love you, click here.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I'll show you mine, if you show me yours

It took me more than 33 years of drinking alcoholically to reach my bottom.

What exactly IS a bottom?

For me, it was the epitome of incomprehensible demoralization. I did not lose my home, my car, my job. I did lose the person with whom I was in love. I lost the desire to go on living. I lost my self-esteem. I lost my ability to reason and think straight (shuddup Scott). In short, I lost my sanity. I almost lost my life due to my stupid actions which led to a hustler being in my home. Robbing me. I was drinking up to 18 hours every day for the last year. And there was a lot of crying and tears. A lot of yelling. A lot of nonsense.

What did your bottom look like?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a God of my understanding (thanks Bill)

that I have not had an alcoholic drink in 2 years and 5 months nor have I had a thought about having one for more than a second

that I want to live until God takes me

that my head and brain has cleared up enough to make sense of most things (except some Al-Anon people)

that I live with honesty and credibility at the core of my existence

that today, Step 12 pretty much covers it all for me

that someone asked me to be his sponsor yesterday after hearing my talk on Wednesday; I only hope I can help him to more fully appreciate the Twelve Steps

that when I sponsor someone, I can't keep them sober and I don't become their banker, taxi-driver, sex/relationship counselor nor necessarily their friend

Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.
-Albert Schweitzer

Thursday, February 02, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

I just love
to stir
things up

CLICK to see others posting pix today

Daily Progress

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Mom's getting over the "crud" (this is a big deal because she is not able to cough to clear her throat)

that even though I got severely stressed (nearly bent out of shape) yesterday morning, I was able to let it go, once again

for the magic of the program of AA recovery

to be asked to share a tidbit of my AA story -- I chose to focus on what happened when I hit bottom

that when asked to share my story (see above), I only had 5 minutes to think about it instead of days and days to consider what to say

that I usually don't mind being a ham (and cheese)

for the importance of practicing Step 6 on a daily basis for as long as I live; if and when I stop doing it, I can add at least one more character defect to my list

for Scott's sexy voice (This Too Shall Pass)

to be asked to serve on another recovery-related committee; of course I said YES!

that my plate is now full and I have all the utensils I need

that I am not too overly envious of my UK friend Liz going to Australia for 6 weeks (bitch!)

Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.
-Oliver Goldsmith

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Love Comes From Within

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to finally get some important paperwork completed for my Mom's continuing insurance coverage after 7 weeks of begging, pleading and dealing with red-tape bureauocracy

to witness a recovering friend go through the range of emotion and stay sober - her alcoholic brother murdered her drug-addict nephew in front of her mother

to be reminded (again) that I can't expect others to love me if I can't love myself

that I love myself a lot more than I used to

to see more and more that when I was spiritually bankrupt, I didn't know what love was

for my mentors in the AA program -- one of which is chairing the Wednesday 6:30am meeting this month. He selects a theme for the month, this month being "Peace, Love, Freedom and Happiness"

to discover another recovery blogger; drop by to meet Alexis at
The Road of Happy Destiny

that TEXAS is Bigger Than FRANCE

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
-Mother Teresa

Safe Sex Dress


I need a good caption for this photo.

(click on the pic to enlarge)

Give me your best shot.